Yahoo Up Close : Social Search
Tim Mayer of Yahoo introduces this seminar on the Social Media direction of Yahoo and its core web search which is leaning in the socail direction. Tim reviews the International success of Answers and Yahoo’s plans of building upon that success.
Timeline : Directory, PageRank and then Yahoo sees the next break through in tagging and utilizing community and its sense of authority as the new meta data search. Yahoo’s search vision (FUSE) is and has always been human powered – broken down into : Find, Use, Share and Expand all human knowledge. Social Media (tagging, blogging, rating, reviewing, customization) is the obvious next step.
Yahoo’s Social Search Strategy : Obtain a critical mass of high-quality, user generated content then leverage that knowledge in meta data.
Tim uses MyWeb as an example of social media integrated into web search – bookmarking, tagging and sharing; My Bookmarks, My Contacts, Interesting Today (think del.icio.us Popular or Digg).
Currently on Yahoo 30-35% of queries are ‘subjective’ and full of commercial listings which may not be as interesting. With Yahoo MyWeb integration people can lend their opinions and experiences with the subjects that are searched for.
Yumio Saneyoshi of Yahoo Answers takes the podium to review what is possibly the most successful implementation of 2.0 into mass Internet media. Yahoo Answers quantifies Human Knowledge, dependent upon each person’s expertise in their life experience; eg. travels and hobbies. What is in the head of users which is not included in the web index. Answers is not an alternative to web search but simply a complement; “Answers will help to revolutionize search.”
Saneyoshi gives an example of how Yahoo Answers fills the need of natural search language and shows how Yahoo Answers Q&A sessions are indexed highly in not only Yahoo, but also Google. Yahoo Answers has doubled in unique users and page views in its first two months with over 12million registered users in the system and has cornered the highest market share online in terms of a Q&A destination.
How can marketers take advantage of Yahoo Answers? Category sponsorship is one method as is the marketing of one’s expertise; building expert credibility.
Joshua Schachter, Director of Engineering (and Founder) of del.icio.us – a system for saving and remembering things found on the web. Schachter describes del.icio.us as a two part system, both selfish in terms of the user taking advantage of the bookmarking system for their own use, and then selfless – in terms of the sharing and tagging of that information. Interesting point; 50% of del.icio.us traffic comes via RSS. Collective memory and discovery is the direction of the site, and possibly the future of Yahoo Social Media.
Kakul Srivastava, Senior Product Manager for Flickr looks at photography and the event base of the medium; taking pictures and the sharing of those photos. Digital photography has brought an ambience to the medium, moving beyond the album and into a stream of life experience. Friends are subscribing to photos as opposed to simply viewing on occasion. 60-70% of photos on Flickr are shared, building participation and meta data (tagging) which defines such photography – then the human network built upon the collection. Flickr distribution includes deals with Nokia and integration into the Yahoo Network – along with the Flickr pulse module featuered on the Yahoo Homepage from time to time.
Kakul’s presentation is the most emotional & moving search oriented testimonial I have ever heard, during of which she literally opened her heart with the room on the vision and revolution of citizenship journalism behind Flickr, with examples of users in Tehran & Lebanon. One can tell by her presentation that she has dedicated her love and drive into the Flickr product.
Ashish Baldua is the Senior Engineering Manager of Yahoo Trip Planner, the new social oriented travel destination from Yahoo. Trip Planner allows Yahoo users to plan, share and review their travels with Yahoo Photos, Maps, Tagging, Blogging, Digg-esque voting and Blogging integration. Like del.icio.us and other social offerings, Trip Planner is cyclical.
Knowledge shared in Trip Planner is monetized via integrated display sponsorships and travel advertisers taking advantage of the program via lead generation.